To help you choose a broker that offers financial spread betting, we compare the best FCA and Central Bank of Ireland regulated spread betting forex brokers in Ireland, based on spreads and trading platforms.
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Compare Forex Broker consider these brokers to be the best spread betting brokers for Irish traders
If you are based in Ireland or the United Kingdom, spread betting may be a more tax-efficient approach to leveraged trading than traditional CFD trading.
Similar to the way trading CFDs work, spread betters can speculate on the price movements of different financial instruments with the benefit of not having to buy or sell the physical underlying asset. The primary difference between spread betting and CFD trading is that Ireland tax laws do not require traders to pay Capital Gains Tax (CGT) on spread betting profits.
Now that the UK is no longer part of the Eurozone, it is important to be aware that not all brokers can offer spread betting services to Irish clients. In the past, any broker with regulation from the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) or Irelands Central Bank of Ireland (formerly Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority) could offer spread betting to all residents in the UK and Irelands. With Brexit now a reality, there seem to be different interpretations by each broker of how regulations will apply. Some brokers based in the UK with an FCA licence will allow any client in Ireland and the Europe mainland to join their UK subsidiary, while some brokers will only accept residents in the UK to apply with their UK subsidiary.
Pepperstone is regulated by the FCA which means they are a good option for traders in northern Irland and the UK. Pepperstone does not offer spread betting in Ireland.
Pepperstone is one of the best spread betting brokers thanks to tight spreads and ultra-fast execution speeds. The brokers spread betting trading account is commission-free (traders paying no commission fees on top of the spread). Minimum spreads for major currency pairs are some of the best available, with the EUR/USD as low as 1.0 pip.
When comparing spreads to other top brokers, Pepperstone offers incredibly competitive spreads, especially when it comes to major currency pairs that include the Great British Pound (GBP) or Euro (EUR). Pepperstone’s average spreads for these currencies are include 1.44 pips for the GBP/USD and 1.22 pips for the EUR/JPY.
Data taken from broker website. Accurate as at 04/06/2021
No minimum deposit is required to open a Pepperstone spread betting account, although the broker recommends at least £200 to start trading. Please note, although spread betting is commission-free, you are are still liable to pay swap rates if positions are held open overnight.
When spread betting with Pepperstone you can use either MetaTrader 4 or MetaTrader 5. Both trading platforms offer a great range of trading tools to help you develop spread betting strategies, such as Expert Advisors, Autochartist and technical analysis tools.
Active traders can execute automated trading strategies using Expert Advisors (trading robots) on both MT4 and MT5. Using the platform’s programming languages (MQL4 and MQL5), you can write your own algorithmic trading strategies that automatically enter and exit trades according to the pre-defined parameters you have set.
To conduct market analysis, extensive inbuilt charting tools and technical indicators are available. If you want to also automate your technical analysis, Pepperstone freely offers Autochartist. Autochartist is a market scanner that saves you time by automatically searching for different spread betting opportunities.
As well as the platforms pre-installed trading tools and features, you can download Pepperstone’s Smart Trader Tools. The add-on package consists of 28 additional Expert Advisors and technical indicators, including tools to manage risk and improve order management.
Whether MT4 or MT5 is the best spread betting platform for you depends on the financial instruments you want to bet on. Designed predominately as a forex trading platform, MT4 users can spread bet on commodities and indices, while MT5 is a multi-asset platform designed for trading through exchanges which means access to stock markets is available.
Both MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5 are available in the following versions:
To explore Pepperstone’s platform options and practise spread betting, the broker offers demo accounts for both MT4 and MT5.
In Ireland, financial markets are monitored and regulated by the Irish Financial Services Regulatory Authority which is part of the Central Bank of Ireland however brokers with the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) in the United Kingdom can also offer Spread betting services to Irish traders. All other major financial hubs around the world, i.e. Australia (regulated by ASIC), South Africa (FSCA), Cyprus (CySEC) or Singapore (MAS) do not allow spread betting.
While you can spread bet on a range of asset classes, the FCA recently introduced a regulation that banned retail traders from accessing crypto markets. To trade crypto as CFDs, you will need to sign up to a broker regulated by authorities like ASIC, FSC or CySEC.
As mentioned, a major advantage to spread betting is the beneficial tax treatment due to no Capital Gains Tax (CGT). Irish and UK tax laws require anyone trading CFDs to pay CGT on all profits made. Conversely, profits made from spread betting are CGT exempt as the trading activity is officially classified as gambling.
Both CFD trading and spread betting are not subject to stamp duty.
As spread betting profits are not subject to stamp duty or Capital Gains Tax, spread betting is seen as a more tax-efficient style of trading than traditional CFDs. With ultra-tight spreads, a great range of trading tools and the best trading platforms currently on the market, Pepperstone provides an excellent trading environment for spread betting.
Note, only residents of the UK and Ireland are able to sign up to a spread betting account with the broker’s UK subsidiary.
View Pepperstone Review >>Visit Pepperstone >>
The overall rating is based on review by our experts
City Index is a well-respected broker that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and will accept applications from Ireland and Europe mainland. If you’re in the UK then we recommend you view the best spread betting platform UK page. City Index is seen as trusted and transparent because, in addition to FCA oversight, the broker’s parent company (Gain Capital) is listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
Market access is provided to a good range of asset classes including forex, indices, commodities products. If you want to spread bet forex on MetaTrader 4, City Index is a great option for Irish traders with over 65 major, minor and exotic currency pairs.
When spread betting with City Index, you can place daily funded bets, rolling dailies or quarterly bets. Maximum leverage of 30:1 is permitted by the broker, along with a minimum stake of £0.50 per point.
To open a spread betting account with City Index, you will be required to make an initial minimum deposit of £100. To deposit and withdraw funds from your trading account you can use debit or credit cards, bank transfers or PayPal.
When spread betting with City Index, you can choose from the following products
MetaTrader 4 is the most popular forex trading platform designed for retail investor accounts. The software is well-suited to all levels of experience, with features like Autochartist to help beginners plus sophisticated algorithmic tools for experienced traders.
When spread betting, MT4 users can utilise the following tools to develop trading strategies and manage risk.
City Index offers a demo account where you can practice spread betting in live trading conditions. Utilising demos before you start trading will give you an opportunity to test out the different trading tools you can use to develop strategies in a risk-free environment.
IG is an online broker regulated by 11 different financial authorities around the world. CMC Markets uses two regulators for Irish residents, these are
If you wish to spreadbet, then you need to make sure you signup with CMC Markets UK plc as they have the appropriate licencing to offer Spreadbets.
When spread betting forex with IG you can maximise your gains by using leverage up to 30:1. Both quarterly and daily funded bets can be placed, with a minimum stake of £0.50 per point.
Although IG does not require you to deposit any specific amount when opening an account, one pitfall of the broker is a $300 minimum deposit when depositing funds via credit card, debit card and PayPal.
The broker offers six different trading platforms to choose from suited to different levels of experience. If you are new to spread betting, MetaTrader 4 (MT4) and IG’s proprietary online trading platform will be the easiest to navigate initially.
Before you start trading, educational materials can help you wrap your head around how spread betting works. IG provides a good range of information online covering how to spread bet, the benefits as well as risk management techniques. The IG Academy is an excellent resource for beginners, as you can work through a course that includes interactive activities, quizzes and videos.
As well as the IG Academy, which takes beginner traders through the basics, the broker offers many educational articles online. For instance, articles explaining what bet sizes are, using FTSE 100 as an example.
As a beginner trader, demo accounts are an incredibly valuable educational resource. Like CFD trading, spread betting comes with a high risk of losing money. Demos allow you to practise trading volatile and complex instruments with virtual account balances, rather than risking real money.
View IG Markets Review >>Visit IG Markets >>
ETX Capital is a London-based broker and a fully regulated spread betting and CFD provider. ETX is regulated by the FCA and allow Irish citizens to apply for a spread betting account.
The broker provides excellent educational materials, covering the basics of trading plus specific spread betting courses. Apart from webinars, where you are required to be a registered ETX client, all resources are freely available online on the broker’s website.
To help you learn about spread betting and improve your trading strategies, ETX Capital provides a vast array of educational materials.
The broker’s webinars cover lessons vital to successful spread betting. Lessons teach useful skills such as risk management techniques while market analysis content to keep you to date with the latest trends.
eBooks written by expert traders are freely available to download online. Topics include market analysis, technical indicators and coverage of current economic events like Brexit. Platform tutorials with easy-to-follow videos are also available, along with trading courses that go over the basics of spread betting and risk management.
With ETX Capital’s comprehensive educational materials, all levels of trading experience can expand their spread betting knowledge. To get the most out of the broker’s resources, sign up for a demo account to practice what you are learning while exploring the different financial instruments available for spread betting.
Visit ETX Capital
CMC Markets is a Spread Betting and CFD Broker with an excellent range of tradeable products.
Compared to other spread betting companies, CMC Markets provides the best market access to over 9,500 products to choose from. Seven different asset classes can be included in your spread betting strategies, being forex, commodities, shares, ETFs treasuries and indices.
CMC Markets customers can trade thousands of global markets with low minimum spreads.
To execute spread betting strategies you can use the broker’s proprietary trading platform, Next Generation.
Available as a desktop platform or mobile apps, the software provides a diverse selection of trading tools such as technical analysis and charting features, client sentiment data and pattern recognition scanners.
With over 9,500 different financial instruments to bet on, CMC Markets provides some of the best market access currently offered to retail investor accounts. Spreads are competitive across all asset classes, and a good range of trading tools are available to help you develop diversified spread betting strategies.
View CMC Markets Review >>Visit CMC Markets>>
ThinkMarkets is a top broker that offers CFD trading and spread betting services. Spread betters gain access to a good range of markets, with forex, indices and commodities available.
The broker’s proprietary trading platform, ThinkTrader, is available as a fully functional mobile app with all the tools needed to spread bet. The trading app is incredibly popular, with over 15,000 five star App Store reviews.
If you want to trade on the go and stay up to date with markets regardless of where you are, ThinkMarkets mobile app is considered one of the best. The fully functional mobile apps provide similar tools to desktop trading platforms, with various analysis tools with a mobile-friendly design.
View ThinkMarkets Review >>Visit ThinkMarkets >>
As well as financial markets, certain brokers offer spread betting on different sports events. With a wide range of products available, Spreadex is a great choice if you want to switch between sports and financial spread betting.
Rather than spread betting on financial instruments like forex, traders can spread bet thousands of sporting events as a Spreadex client. The most popular sports to spread tend to be Football, Cricket, Horse Racing, Golf and Tennis, although more unique events are available such as UFC, Table Tennis and Politics.
As well as the online trading platform designed for sports spread betting, the broker’s proprietary mobile app allows you to:
As well as spread betting, traders can also place traditional fixed odds bets as a Spreadex customer.
If you are purely wanting to focus on financial spread betting, you can develop strategies with the following products: forex, futures, stock markets, indices, commodities, ETFs, options, interest rates and bonds.
Overall, Spreadex offers a unique spread betting product range compared to other brokers. The selection of financial markets, sporting and other events is diverse, ranging from interest rates to cricket and politics.
Note: Spreadex has different accounts for sports betting and financial spread betting.
Due to Brexit, FXCM UK will not accept applications from Ireland however will accept applications from Northern Ireland.
FXCM is a spread betting and CFD provider that offers smaller bet sizes than other top brokers. If you are new to spread betting, placing smaller bets will help you manage the high risk of trading by minimising your exposure. Unlike other brokers, FXCM allows traders to place bets from just 7 points per stake.
As well as smaller bet sizes, FXCM offers a great range of risk management tools suited to both beginner and experienced traders. Basic risk management techniques such as stop-loss orders can be attached to bets. Alternatively, traders can pay a small fee to place premium orders like guaranteed stop losses.
When spread betting with FXCM you have the option of three different trading platforms all available as desktop, web and mobile apps – MetaTrader 4, NinjaTrader and Trading Station.
To practice trading smaller bets while trying out the broker’s different risk management tools, demo accounts are available for all three platform options.
View FXCM Review >>Visit FXCM >>
Spread betting is only available to OANDA Europe Ltd customers who reside in the UK and Northern Ireland. If you reside in Ireland, you will not be able to apply for a spread betting account with Oanda.
Oanda offers two trading platforms for spread betting – Oanda Trade and MetaTrader 4 (MT4). To get the most out of Oanda’s suite of tools, it is recommended to use the broker’s proprietary platform, Oanda Trade. When using this platform to spread, a great range of advanced analysis tools are available thanks to the broker’s partnership with Trading View.
The third-party charting software allows you to conduct sophisticated analysis, with over 65 technical indicators 11 customisable charts plus various drawing tools and timeframes.
As well as being able to trade directly from charts, users can use up to eight different charts simultaneously, in one layout. A great range of fundamental analysis tools is also available on Oanda Trade, with a comprehensive inbuilt economic calendar and real-time news powered by Dow Jones FX Select.
When using Oanda Trade to spread bet you can access forex, commodity, index, precious metal and bond markets. Oanda Trade demo accounts give you a chance to explore the broker’s features in a risk-free environment, including Trading View charting tools and the different fundamental analysis tools.
View Oanda Review >>Visit Oanda >>
When spread betting, you are making a bet that a particular financial instrument will rise or fall. If the instrument moves in a favourable direction, your profit will equate to the stake you’ve chosen, multiplied by the number of pips the price moved.
Although similar to CFD trading as you are speculating on price movements rather than buying or selling the physical underlying, the key difference is how profits are taxed. Profits made through trading CFDs are subject to Capital Gains Tax (CGT) but not stamp duty. Spread betting profits are subject to neither CGT or stamp duty, making it a more tax-efficient style of trading.
Overall, CompareForexBrokers considers Pepperstone the best spread betting broker for traders based in the UK and Ireland wanting to spread bet.
The style of trading suited to you depends on your location and whether you will benefit from the tax advantages. Brokers regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) are only able to accept residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland as spread betting clients.
If you live in these areas and qualify as a retail trader, you may be able to increase net profits by spread betting as opposed to CFD trading, as you do not have to pay Capital Gains Tax on spread betting profits.
If you live outside of the UK or Ireland, then you can find out more about the Best CFD Brokers here.
Most brokers offer proprietary trading platforms and/or third-party software like MetaTrader 4 and MetaTrader 5.
Each platform provides different trading tools with various charting and automation features. To find out more, you can find our Best Spread Betting Platforms review here.
No. Brokers can only offer spread betting services for residents of the United Kingdom and Ireland. Unlike the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) or the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and central bank of Ireland (CBI) allows spread betting.
Traders from MAS or ASIC regulated jurisdictions can trade CFDs instead. To find out more about the best brokers in different regulatory areas, check out our country-specific reviews here:
Pepperstone is Compare Forex Brokers top spread betting broker thanks to its competitive pricing, market access and trading tools. Whether you a beginner trader new to spread betting or a seasoned pro looking to implement Expert Advisor strategies, Pepperstone is an excellent broker for all levels of experience.
Regardless of the broker you choose, spread betting is seen as a tax-efficient alternative to standard CFD trading as you avoid paying stamp duty and Capital Gains Tax (CGT). You will need to sign up to Pepperstone’s Europe based subsidiary that is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, as most major financial hubs around the world (i.e. Australia or Singapore) do not allow spread betting.
Justin Grossbard has been investing for the past 20 years and writing for the past 10. He co-founded Compare Forex Brokers in 2014 after working with the foreign exchange trading industry for several years. He also founded a number of FinTech and digital startups including Innovate Online and SMS Comparison. Justin holds a Masters Degree and an Honours in Commerce from Monash University. He and his wife Paula live in Melbourne, Australia with his son and Siberian cat. In his spare time, he watches Australian Rules Football and invests on global markets.